Guns and gun violence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

35 Scopus citations


The united states is experiencing a very rapid decline in rates of serious violence, and particularly firearm violence. As recently as 1993, America's homicide rate was at a near-historic high; by mid-1999 it was lower than at any time since the mid-1960s, and all indications are that it is continuing to fall. This chapter reviews some of the conditions that led to the increase in rates of firearm violence during the late 1980s and early 1990s and then focuses on some of the most important interventions that have helped reduce gun violence. My discussion is limited to interventions that targeted firearms and firearm violence directly, and mainly to interventions that have been formally evaluated. Many other promising but unexamined interventions are described in a recent report from the Department of Justice (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP]: 1999). The Importance of Guns in Violence Why a chapter focused specifically on firearms? The answers are clear and compelling. The United States has experienced a true epidemic of firearm violence. As I explore later in detail, gun violence accounted for nearly the entire increase, and the more recent decrease, in overall rates of serious violence in the United States (Figure 3.1). Firearm violence remains very common; as recently as 1998, nearly 700,000 violent crimes were committed with firearms (Rennison 1999).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Crime Drop in America, Revised Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages52
ISBN (Print)9780511616167, 0521681480, 9780521862790
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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